BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? Chapter 17
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shortly after the BDM, a pair of strangers who find our BDH's 'uniquely qualified' for job, hired/blackmail them. Freedom in the 'verse may lie in Simon's prowess as an undercover operative. Wait a minute, Simon?


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1745    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter 17

"Ms. Lien Wu," the herald announced as another guest arrived.

Inara felt Simon's tension on her arm. "Is something wrong Doctor?" she asked.

"Maybe… I know that name. But uh, lots of people have that name right? I mean what are the odds…"

"Better for you, considering you aren't the captain," Inara jested. "Perhaps we should proceed now? If we are fortunate, you'll get the information we need on our first try. Then we can leave without finding out just who this woman may or may not be."

Simon sipped his champagne and swallowed uncomfortably. He placed his cane against a nearby column and followed Inara to the dance floor where they assumed the Promenade position.

"Are you ready?" Inara asked him. Simon's hold was confident but his eyes betrayed his insecurity. He nodded meekly and Inara gave his arm a reassuring squeeze while pressing the button that would administer his injection.

Simon closed his eyes and clung to her uncomfortably tightly within their dancer's hold.

Inara took a deep breath and initiated the dance, praying that the good doctor would regain his control soon.

Lien Wu's heart caught in her throat when she saw Simon Tam in the arms of a beautiful woman. Calm down, Lien thought to herself, that would be the companion, Inara Serra. It was common for wealthy men, married and single alike, to engage a registered companion from time to time, but Inara's presence was making it difficult for Lien to remain objective. If the proposed new technology really was capable finding Simon and River Tam, this could be Lien's last chance to capture Simon Tam and save him from himself.

Lien's perceptive eye observed Simon's gait and she realized he was injured and appeared very uncomfortable. Lien shuddered to think of what living in the out in the Black and the barbaric border planets may have done to Simon's psyche. She could only imagine how advanced his psychosis must be. I'm sorry I failed you, bao bei, but things will be different this time.

Lien's mind wandered back in time, almost three years ago, when she tried and failed to save Simon from his self destructive psychosis…

"I swear, father, even with River away at the Academy, Simon barely notices me," Lien complained with more than a hint of jealousy. "I don't know why he worries about her so much. She's getting the best education the Alliance has to offer. Is she really hurting like Simon seems to believe?"

"River is…special… and so it Simon for that matter," Lien's father explained sympathetically. "That boy has helped take care of her for a long time, but now River needs specialized attention from those who truly understand her…gifts. Simon has made a heroic effort in caring for his sister but he's having trouble letting go of that responsibility. It's not a character flaw; it is just in his nature to care for others.

"I have spoken to his parents and we have agreed that, as noble as his obsession may have been in origin, it is unhealthy. What Simon needs is a healthy relationship with an adult woman to stabilize his life and move beyond this psychosis."

"Believe me, I have been trying," Lien sighed in exasperation.

Her father smiled, "I have noticed, and so have the Tams. His parents and I have reached an agreement. The two of you are to be wed."

"You mean…Simon and I…that is to say…we're… betrothed?" Lien stammered excitedly.

"That is correct," her father said. "In truth, we have been planning this for quite some time. However, with Simon becoming increasingly unstable, we thought it best to advance the time table. I suspect the wedding will still be a couple years or so in the future, but perhaps the engagement will provide a measure of stability to his troubled life."

Unfortunately the engagement did not provide him with the stability he needed. Simon became distant to his friends, his colleagues, even his own family. One day Simon came back sporting a black eye and told her he tried to visit a black out zone. She did her best to comfort and console him. She could clearly see he felt his family had betrayed him. He pleaded with Lien to help him find his sister, but Lien told him he needed to drop this obsession for his own good and let her help him.

That was the last time Lien had spoken to Simon. He disappeared for a time and then warrants for his arrest began appearing on the cortex. She realized now that she had abandoned him just like his parents. Next time Lien would not let him run away. She would force him to face his psychosis and they would do what was right for River and each other. Lien knew if River were returned to the Alliance's care they would lose interest in Simon and Lien had the resources shelter him until they did. Lien's father eagerly agreed to her plan of action and was not opposed to sheltering Simon from the Alliance as he believed Simon was 'too valuable a resource' to be wasted in an Alliance prison.

"River?" Mal called as he entered the hallway to the passenger dorms. "Lil' Albatross, you missed supper. I brought some for ya. River?"

Mal heard a soft whimper coming from Simon's room. He gently opened the door to find her curled into a ball, wearing one of Simon's vests on his bed and clutching his pillow to her chest. "Um… River… you okay darlin'?" Mal asked tentatively as he tried to remember now the Doc responded to something like this.

"Not his. Shouldn't have them," River said between sobs.

"Yeah, I don't like his vest much either."

"He knows it isn't safe and he wears it anyway."

"I know, right. Them fancy dud's is 'prolly the reason he keeps gettin' snatched."

"They want to take him away."

Mal grabbed River by her shoulders and gave them a gentle squeeze. "Ain't no one taken 'way anyone's on my crew. Not even your brother."

"Broken."

"Huh?" Mal glanced down and noticed several button's missing from Simon's vest and laughed, "No power in the verse can stop lil' Kaylee. His fancy dud's didn't stand a chance."

"Kaylee can fix anything, right Captain Daddy?"

Mal coughed uncomfortably before reassuring her, "Of course she can, though I believe sewing's a mite more in line with your brother's skill set."

"What if she doesn't want to?" River asked nervously.

Mal began to suspect he really did not know what this conversation was about. He answered carefully, "Um, why wouldn't she want to?"

"Hurt. Betrayed. Heartbroken."

"What did that sah gwa brother of yours do this time?"

"Nothing yet. That's the problem."

"Oh, he's doing that again. I thought we were past that, what with the engagement and all. Don't worry little one, she's always taken him back before."

A turbulent flood of thoughts and emotions assaulted Simon's consciousness. He instinctively shut his eyes against the tide and clung to Inara desperately, as if she were the physical embodiment of what remained of his sanity. Slowly they began moving in the familiar pattern of a Viennese Waltz.

One two three one two three… The repetitive nature of the dance acted as a physical mantra, slowly stabilizing and focusing his mind.

Simon tentatively opened his eyes and gazed into Inara's concerned psyche. The companion's mind was well guarded. Simon found he could not glean anything more than the gentle heartfelt concern she seemed to consciously project in his direction, which made him feel like he was the center of her world. Part of his mind came to the conclusion that his had something to do with the companion's training, but that knowledge did not diminish the fact that it was tremendously soothing.

Simon smiled at her before flinching and remembering why they were dancing. He gradually relaxed his focus on Inara's and allowed the surface thoughts in the area to filter in to his awareness.

The Miranda wave was preposterous Independent proganda.

Blue Sun shares have plummeted over the past few months.

I wonder what this secret meeting is all about?

Simon tried so speak but was unable to manage more than a simple "unh."

Fortunately, Inara was fluent in 'Simon' in all its awkward dialects and flawlessly interpreted his request. She guided him in the direction that he seemed to indicate and waited patiently as his facial expression tensed in apparent concentration.

After a few moments Simon opened his eyes and said, "Inara, I know where the secret meeting is."

"Simon?" a familiar female voice sounded behind him.

"You must be mistaken, this Dr. Galen Sus-" Inara began covering for him.

"Lien?" Simon interrupted Inara and addressed the woman carelessly. He felt a foreign sense of longing wash over him that was making it difficult to maintain both his mental and physical balance. He nearly stumbled when he sensed Inara mentally voicing her exasperation, fuck me sideways going up a hill.

"Don't worry Dr. Sushruta," Lien said with a wink, "Your secret is safe with me."

"I…um… Lien… could you excuse us for just a moment?" Simon requested.

With her assent he walked a few paces away and whispered to Inara, "The meet is in a two hours and the crew needs as much time as we can afford them to plan." Simon took a labored breath and continued, "But we can't draw attention to ourselves before this is over."

"Agreed, tell me what you know quickly and I'll inform Kaylee."

Simon gave Inara the time and location.

Inara kissed him on the cheek and said, "be careful and use the signal ring if there is an emergency. I'll return shortly."

Simon fought his rising panic as Inara departed. Waves of foreign thoughts and emotions buffeted him mercilessly once more. He quickly found a familiar mind and focused on its signal to grant himself a small measure of stability. The overwhelming sense of longing and jealousy was not as soothing as Inara's aura, but it did effectively drown out the other thoughts around him."Lien," Simon began, "I uh… I suppose we have a lot of catching up to do."

"Inara, you're back early," Kaylee greeted cheerfully as Inara entered their hotel room. When she realized Inara had come back alone she became worried and asked, "Where's Simon?"

"He couldn't leave the Ball" Inara began before being interrupted by Kaylee's gasp. "He's okay mei mei," she reassured her, "and I'm going back for him, but I need you to deliver this message to Mal."

"Jayne and Zoe, gear up but subtle like." Mal ordered. "River, will you be alright watching the ship on your own?" he asked concernedly.

"She will be where she is needed," River deadpanned, leaving Mal less than reassured.

"Good, cause you're needed on my boat. Dong mah?"

River hugged her knees into her chest and nodded. Mal found himself wishing his crew was two members larger.

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